Kittens start losing their baby teeth as early as when they are 4 weeks old (but usually at 3 or 4 months). It can take between 5 to 6 months for their adult teeth to fully grow in. During this time your kitten will have an urge to chew on things a lot. Like human babies, the kitten will bite or chew anything they get their paws on. This can include chewing toys or your toes or fingers.
Biting helps them to reduce the soreness and irritation caused by teething. While the desire to bite is natural, sometimes your kitten can bite furniture, computer cables or shoes. Sometimes the biting can also continue after their adult teeth have fully grown in. By showing your kittens what is OK and not OK to bite from the beginning, you can keep your fingers or computer cables safe.
Here are some ways to do that:
Give Them Chew Toys
One of the best ways to help kittens during the biting phase is to give them chew toys. Chewing the toys will stimulate their gums and reduce the irritation caused by their new teeth growing. Small kittens can also be given chew cloth, and some people swear their cats love chewing on old socks. Having lots of toys gives them many good things for them to bite. Let them use the chew toys for as long as they are interested in them.
When your kitten is in their biting phase, it is also a good idea to always have a chew toy nearby. If your kitten is trying to bite or chew your hands, giving them chew toys will redirect their attention.
Don’t Let Your Kitten Play with Your Hands
Avoid letting your kitten play with your hands or fingers. If they view your hands as “toys” they might have a hard time understanding why they can’t bite them. While it may seem cute in the beginning this could become troublesome for you in the future. To keep them from biting your hands, make a high-pitched noise like “Ow!” whenever your kitten bites you. If you have your kitten in your hand, place them on the floor and avoid making positive interactions with them for a few minutes. These should make your kitten back-off and help them realize that biting can end play time.
Cover Furniture and Electrical cords
Kittens are known to bite furniture, electrical or computer cords in your home. Their biting will not only damage your belongings but it can also hurt your kitten if they get shocked. To protect your kitten as well as your expensive things, cover furniture and cables with protective coverings. They make cord coverings that are designed to protect cables from your cats. Some people have made a lemon or hot pepper extract and covered the cable in a light coating. Once your kitten gets a taste of this they won’t want to bite it again
Stop Positive Attention
Sometimes you may unknowingly reward your kitten for biting or chewing your finger. When kittens are young this type of biting may seem cute but it can become irritating when they get bigger. It is important to train them to stop biting from the beginning. If they start biting you while playing with them, stop giving attention to your kitten. The sequence should be Biting – followed by no playing or petting.
Lack of attention will help them realize biting can stop play time and should keep them from biting.